Popularity !!

From: Kenneth Van Oost (kennethvanoost@belgacom.net)
Date: Mon 23 May 2005 - 19:48:38 GMT

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    A group of investigators of the University of Virginia claims that popular youngsters are extremely vulnerable for social pressure.

    " Being popular by its own peergroup holds risks " says the professor in charge Joseph Allen. " On the one hand popular adolescents have many friends, but on the other side there is the fear that those same friends will desert them one day ."

    In the study which will be published soon " Two faces of a popular teen ", shows that youngsters with many friends have strong family ties and possess a sound look of their own personality. The bad news however is that their ability willingly to good for everybody makes them extremely vulnerable _ sensitive _ to be hurt. As a direct effect they follow rather quickly others in ' more risk bearing ' activities, like shopping and smoking pot.

    " Teens try all the time to dare their parents, but in the same token their resistance makes that they tune their own behavior onto that of their contempories. " The most striking conclusion was that ' light deviant behavior ' seldom leads to more ' heavily deviant behavior ' and that in contrast with the group of the more timid or less popular teens, who will commit more rapidly a serious
    ( criminal ) (f)act.

    " Popular teens embrace norms and values to keep up their good work. Deviant behavior is no option, and they tend to keep everybody happy and so they step more easily into the footsteps of what the group dictates." Friends and social circuits are important, but still also the parents.
    " It is very important that parents keep on talking with their children. They are supposed to give advice and guidelines. Teens who are popular will ask more easily questions. But even so, they must be continuous be stimulated to talk to mum and dad. "

    Translated by Kenneth Van Oost, May 2005 Original article, De Morgen Monday 23/ 05/ 2005.

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